Bangkok to fill coffers by increasing tobacco and hotel stay taxes

0
4137
Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt stressed the importance of amending the 1985 act, acknowledging that he had previously believed it was within City Hall’s jurisdiction to earn revenue through the collection of tobacco and hotel stay taxes.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) plans to amend the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Act of 1985 to generate additional revenue in order to fulfill its objective of collecting 80 billion baht for the current fiscal year.

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt stressed the importance of amending the 1985 act, acknowledging that he had previously believed it was within City Hall’s jurisdiction to earn revenue through the collection of tobacco and hotel stay taxes. He said the bill for the amendment will be drafted and sent to the Ministry of Interior and the Cabinet for consideration, noting that the process will be complex and time-consuming as related legislation must be considered.



The Bangkok Governor said the BMA was previously able to generate considerable revenue from taxing buildings and land, but a new law revises the system of calculating such taxes, leading to a decline in revenue. The BMA has the authority to collect taxes on land and buildings, business signs, and gas stations. Together with accompanying fines and costs from issuing various permissions, the governor estimated that this amounts to between 10 billion and 20 billion baht every year.



Since the BMA has set a tax target of 80 billion baht for this fiscal year, authorities are considering additional avenues such as upgrading its database on local taxes, tightening regulations on enterprises that harm the environment under the “polluter pays principle,” and collecting car-parking fees. The BMA is also investigating whether the revenue-collection process in Bangkok is standardized throughout all areas, while considering utilizing the Open Data policy to ensure transparency and maximum efficiency. (NNT)